Knapp v. Northwestern University
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
101 F.3d 473 (1996)
Nicholas Knapp (plaintiff) was highly recruited by a number of universities to play basketball. However, prior to the end of his senior year of high school, Knapp suffered sudden cardiac death, meaning that his heart stopped, during a pick-up basketball game. Although he was revived by paramedics, an internal cardioverter-defibrillator was subsequently implanted in Knapp’s abdomen to detect heart irregularities. If Knapp’s heart stopped the device was designed to restart it. On the day following Knapp’s cardiac episode, Northwestern University (Northwestern) (defendant) informed him and his family that it would honor its commitment for a scholarship for Knapp to play basketball. Seven weeks after his collapse, Knapp signed a letter of intent to attend Northwestern. The fall of Knapp’s freshman year at Northwestern, the basketball’s team head physician, Dr. Howard Sweeney, declared Knapp ineligible to play for the year based on a review of Knapp’s medical records and after consulting with several other physicians. After the end of that basketball season, Northwestern and the Big Ten Conference declared Knapp permanently medically ineligible to play basketball. Consequently, Knapp has never practiced with the basketball team nor played in a college game. Knapp’s scholarship continues as well as other benefits only provided to student-athletes, but he is not allowed to do anything with the basketball team other than observe. The day Dr. Sweeney declared Knapp ineligible, Knapp filed suit against Northwestern under § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, seeking an injunction prohibiting the university from excluding him from its basketball team. The district court agreed and granted the injunction. Northwestern appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Evans, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 171,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.